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Protests Erupt as Inflation Squeezes Households

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA — In the shadows of an immense statue of Chinggis Khaan, the founder of the Mongol empire, thousands gather. They stand outside the Government Palace to demand officials remedy the ever-increasing cost of living.

A young demonstrator holds up a mirror, asking if government officials can bear to look themselves in the face, while others chant “Do your job” during the two-day dissent in April. The protest signals a breaking point for citizens who struggle to keep up with rising costs. They accuse the government of neglecting its duty to remedy the situation and forcing people to consider fleeing the country.

Two months after the administration approved its highest-ever total spending budget of 18.2 trillion Mongolian togrog (MNT) ($5.9 billion), officials called on citizens to “switch to austerity.” The move angered many already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, both of which…

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